As one of our activities at the 2012 Burnett family reunion, we hiked to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Most of the people took the shuttle across Jenny Lake, but several of us chose to walk around the lake instead.We started at the Jenny Lake Trailhead, which is where people get on the boats.The signs point to Hidden Falls and Cascade Canyon.A boat launch.No pets. No bicycles.At 43°44'54.39"N, 110°44'20.75"W, the trail to Moose Ponds forks to the left.While we were walking, a man coming the other direction told us that there was a bear ahead. It turns out Arianne is terrified of bears. So we spent the next 15 minutes or so walking in paranoia. After we had almost given up hope of seeing the bear, Ondy and Jaren practically stepped on it. The bear stepped out of the bushes onto the trail less than 4 feet in front of them. The bear paid them no heed and just kept going. Leslie, Brianne, Amy, Arianne, and I were at the back of the group and couldn't see the bear. The following is some of the dialog from the video:Anthony: "Look, it's a bear. It's little."Arianne: "It's a baby? That mean's there's a mother. I don't see it."Amy: "Are they pulling our legs?"Anthony: "Come on Ari, come on."At this point, they're running down the trail after the bear.Arianne: "Anthony, I don't see it."Amy: "They claim they see it, but I don't see it and no one else does, so I wonder if they're pulling our legs."Arianne: "Anthony..."Then the bear slowed down, and we caught up to it. Here's the video:The closest I got to the bear was about 10 ft. He was scratching the bark off of fallen trees and eating bugs.Zac and Anthony getting a better view.All the people trying to get pictures of the bear.When we got bored with the bear, we started hiking again. Apparently the bear liked where we were going because it walked alongside us for several minutes.After about an hour of hiking, we got to the maze of trails near Hidden Falls.It's pretty hard to get lost though because all you have to do is follow the signs to Hidden Falls.It took us 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Hidden Falls, which is pretty average.Hidden Falls is a 100-foot-tall cascade on Cascade Creek.We waited at the falls for about 15 minutes, but we didn't meet up with any of the other groups, so we moved on.I don't have any pictures of Inpiration Point, but there are several on my other page. When we were almost to Inspiration Point, we saw some of our other groups at the bottom of the cliff. We waited for them to catch up and enjoyed the view for a bit before moving on.Instead of going back the way we came, we chose to follow the trail around Jenny Lake to the String Lake picnic area, where everyone was going to meet up for lunch. It ended up being a little bit shorter, and there would be plenty of cars for us to shuttle.This portion of the trail was even more amazing than the first part.It was really green and lush with lots of wildflowers.Anthony ate a few of the wild raspberries.A section of forest burned in 1999.Now this sign was really confusing. We were trying to get to String Lake Picnic Area, but the sign said to take the long way (2.8 miles) around String Lake to get there instead of the short way (which ended up being less than half a mile). So if you're trying to get to the String Lake Trailhead, turn right not left.After our encounter with the bear, we wondered what we should have done differently. Turns out there were lots of signs telling us what to do. If we had only stopped to read them...We ended at the South String Lake Trailhead.At this point everything got really confusing. We had some pretty good mixups of where people though they were and where people thought everyone else was, etc. Our group was the first to get to the picnic area, which confused us because we figured the people taking the ferry would beat us there. I ran ahead of my group to scout the picnic area and save everyone unnecessary walking. But I didn't tell them where I was going, and they hadn't studied the map, so they just stayed put. They thought I had taken the 3.1 mile trail to the picnic area. When I went back to find them, I didn't backtrack far enough, so I ended up getting separated from everyone for most of an hour. We finally all met up around 3:00 for lunch.
Here's where I put in a shameless pitch for my website.This trip report is from http://dyeclan.com/outdooractivities/hiking/jennylake/.Go to http://dyeclan.com/outdooractivities/ for hundreds of hiking, canyoneering, caving, and other outdoor adventures.